A live wire, barely a beginner
But just watch that lady go

Dear Marek and family,

Back when Tori was working her way towards returning to the US Ski Team after her accident she came to live with me and my girlfriend in Berkeley where I was in school. I think she wanted some neutral ground and a weight room, but honestly, I don’t remember if it was post break-up, or why she came out to California.

I only know I was just glad she chose to be there with us.

She pulled up to our house in her beater Subaru sedan with a crappy gear box on the roof and huge speakers stuffed into the back of the car. On our first trip up to the Cal weight room to train that week she popped a tape in the deck and cranked the fucker WAY up.

At that time in my life I was in my long-hair, Dead Show, Berkeley “why can’t we all get along” phase — and — as the first hard-rock guitar lick came blasting out of the speakers, I looked at her like girl, what the fuck?

She turned to me, noticed my displeasure, and with that smile she hollered over the blast of noise: “You’re a little bit of a pussy aren’t you?”

It was meant as a compliment, and like so much of the honesty that came out of her, she was right. And, proudly, I remain a pussy to this day.

Last Sunday afternoon, not long after I’d heard of her passing, I hopped in my truck to go pick up my youngest son, and I turned on the radio.

A song came on.

The same song.

So I turned that fucker WAY up.

And then this pussy pulled over to the side of the road and cried while Van Halen blasted away.

At the heart of every modern American bad-ass is some version of an unapologetic rocker. And she was all that, all the time. Yes, an athlete, a partner, friend, mother and inspiration. But she was also a rocker, someone who was, always, without guise of any kind, herself.

And I think that made her better at all of the above somehow.

That cry felt damn good to me, so I thought that I’d pass the song along. I figure, maybe if you remembered her in that way, it might do something good for you. Plus, who wants to skip the experience of balling while David Lee Roth yells into a microphone?

I do know that she’d be seriously rolling her eyes if we were crying to Jerry singing “Ripple” or — even worse — some lame-ass Dan Fogelberg ballad from the early 80’s.

Below are some link options for you to hear the song.

Get ready before you do. And, of course, turn that fucker WAY up. Use headphones if you have them for full-blast effect. And be ready for the moment when David sings

“A live wire, barely a beginner, but just watch that lady go”

Hugs and love to you. And I guess we all have to try to keep on rocking.


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